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Does Georgia Recognize Parental Alienation?

by Sharon Jackson  on April 1, 2021 under 

When deciding issues of child custody, Georgia courts encourage both parents to share in decisions regarding their children and for each parent to have a significant, lasting relationship with their children. With this in mind, no two family situations are alike, and the court can award only one parent the physical and legal custody of the children or award joint custody to both parents if the judge sees it to be in the best interests of the children. When parental alienation comes into the divorce mix, it can make it more difficult for the alienated parent to gain custody of your children.

Parent alienation can have legal consequences, as well as long-lasting psychological consequences on the child. If this happens to you, it could impact your right to the custody of your child. This is why Georgia parental alienation may concern you. Here is what you need to know. 

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is a form of psychological abuse in which one of the parents tries to create an emotional separation between their soon-to-be ex-spouse and their children. The purpose is to manipulate the child into having negative feelings towards the other parent. Unfortunately, this circumstance is very common after a separation or a divorce where child custody is an issue, or when a parent has anger towards the other parent.

When a marriage ends, commonly one parent has more anger over the disruption of the status quo. In a number of divorce situations, anger causes this parent to lash out, seeking to punish and blame the other parent. The weapon for this vengeance is the children, because they have a high value. The alienating parent uses the children as instruments to batter the targeted parent for disrupting the status quo of the marriage.
- Psychology Today

Parental alienation may cause children to resent, fear, or even hate the parent who is the target of alienation. There are various behaviors that are recognized as forms of parental alienation, and a parent will often use a mix of them so that they may inflict as much damage as possible on the other parent-child relationship. 

The following examples are some common forms of parental alienation: 

  • Attempting to convince the child that their other parent doesn’t actually love them
  • Reducing contact frequency between the other parent and the child
  • Poorly speaking about the other parent in the presence of the child
  • Making the child choose them over the other parent
  • Influencing the child to poorly speak about their other parent
  • Making false statements about the other parent in the presence of the child
  • Going through extreme measures in order to win the child’s love

There are multiple attempts to manipulate the feelings of the child towards their other parents. Some are more subtle, whereas others are very obvious. Whether they are done in the short term or the long term, not only may they affect custody, but may also inflict psychological trauma on the children.

Does Georgia Recognize Parental Alienation?

Georgia does not have any specific laws on parental alienation. It all depends on the case presented to the family law Judge. However, if there is evidence of parental alienation from a parent, it can be used by the alienated parent to make a claim for parenting time, custody, and visitation. 

If you suspect that you are the target of parental alienation, then you may want to gather as much proof as possible. Are you being denied visits, even if you still have custody? Is your ex-spouse withholding information or making decisions about your child without your consent? In this case, gather as much information as possible and consult an experienced divorce and family law attorney who can help you in this process.

Final Thoughts

In the end, while in Georgia accusations of parental alienation are taken into consideration, you won’t be able to do much about it without proof. This is why you might want to consult a lawyer. An experienced family law attorney will fight that to ensure that the best interest of the child is protected and present evidence of parental alienation to the Court – and if you present a good case, you have a chance of protecting your child.

Divorce and Family Law Attorney Sharon Jackson Can Help

Child custody battles are always difficult, and parental alienation makes a contentious child custody battle even worse. Attorney Sharon Jackson provides divorce and family law services in Gwinnett County and Metro Atlanta, Georgia. To schedule an initial consultation, call our office today at (678) 436-3636 or contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced divorce and family law attorney who will fight to protect your rights and the rights of your children.



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